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MaryEllen Elia Appointed New Commissioner of the State Education Department

On May 26, the New York State Board of Regents voted to appoint MaryEllen Elia as the next Commissioner of Education and President of the University of the State of New York (USNY). A native of western New York, she is the first woman to hold this permanent post.


Ms. Elia served as superintendent in Hillsborough County, Florida since 2005, where she is credited with partnering with teachers to raise standards, develop a comprehensive evaluation system, and raise student achievement. Hillsborough County, which includes Tampa, is the nation's eighth largest school district with 206,000 students, 30,000 employees, and a $2.9 billion budget.


Ms. Elia began her career in education in 1970 as a social studies teacher in Buffalo's Sweet Home Central School District and taught for 19 years before moving on to administrative positions. Ms. Elia's appointment comes after a nearly five-month search by the Board of Regents to replace former Commissioner John King, who left the Department at the end of 2014 to take a senior-level job with the U.S. Department of Education. Ms. Elia will start her new position on July 6.


Read more about Ms. Elia's appointment here.


Commissioner-Elect Elia visits Pine Hills Elementary School

One day after being appointed, Commissioner-Elect Elia toured Pine Hills Elementary School in Albany. She was warmly greeted by student ambassadors and visited classrooms. Ms. Elia read a book to first grade students, observed group work in a third grade math classroom, and visited with first graders during their writing lesson. She also listened to teachers and administrators. "The reason that kids will be successful in school is because of the teachers," Elia told reporters. "And we need to make sure they have all the support they need."


Please join us in welcoming Ms. Elia back to New York!

Learning Summit Generates Valuable Feedback


Learning Summit panels

The New York State Board of Regents hosted a Learning Summit on Annual Professional Performance Review (APPR), the evaluation systems for teachers and principals, on Thursday, May 7, in the Carole Huxley Theater at the New York State Museum. Along with presentations from a panel of national experts, the Regents and the State Education Department heard presentations from several New York State stakeholder groups, including representatives from the statewide organizations for superintendents, principals, teachers, parents, and school board members. The summit was hosted by the co-chairs of the P-12 Education Committee, Regents Vice Chancellor Anthony S. Bottar and Regent Lester W. Young. Statements and discussion gave the Department feedback to share with the Board of Regents, which is charged by State law with adopting Commissioner's Regulations by June 30.
New Social Studies Resources on EngageNY
students in social studies classroom

The K-12 Social Studies program in New York State schools prepares students for college, careers, and civic life. New resources are now available, including a toolkit and professional development videos, for Social Studies teachers, leaders, parents and administrators.

Translated Mathematics Modules
bilingual classroom

NYSED is working on an initiative to translate the mathematics curriculum modules into the top 5 languages spoken in New York State, including Spanish, Chinese (Simplified and Traditional), Arabic, Bengali, and Haitian Creole. Please find all available translated modules here. Additional translations will be posted as they become available.

Conference Overview Video: The Power of Collaboration

The NYSED Charter School Office hosted a conference on May 12, 2015 centered on best practice sharing between charter and district schools throughout New York State. Schools participating in the New York State Dissemination Program-a grant funded through the federal Charter Schools Program-were able to showcase their work, best practices, and lessons learned. This conference highlighted the emerging outcomes of the 11 charter schools and over 40 district schools involved in the dissemination grant. Over 120 administrators, teachers, program directors, evaluators, and elected officials attended.


Watch the overview video of the conference here.

expert panel overview video
Teacher Workshops

archaeology workshop for teachersThe New York State Museum is offering four upcoming teacher workshops on earth science, archaeology, evolution, and Dutch colonial history. All workshops are led by Museum scientists and are excellent professional development opportunities for elementary, middle and high school teachers.




The DH Cadwell Earth Science Workshop
July 7 - 10, 2015
This three and a half-day workshop helps earth science teachers by increasing their familiarity with the geologic environment and geologic history of New York State. Registration fee is $250. Registration deadline is June 15.


Archaeology for the Classroom Workshop
July 21 - 23, 2015
This three-day workshop provides educators with classroom lessons, activities, and projects designed to expose students to the field of archaeology. The workshop is open to all teachers although content is particularly geared towards teachers in grades 2-8. Registration fee is $30. Registration deadline is July 3.


Evolution Workshop
October 24, 2015
This one-day Saturday workshop is designed for high school and middle school earth science teachers. Participants will learn about current evolutionary theory, recent discoveries, and resources for effective classroom exercises. Registration fee is $30. Registration deadline is October 2.


Teaching Dutch Colonial History with the New York State Social Studies Frameworks
August 8 (full-day) and October 1 & December 10 (evening)
This free three-part workshop, offered by the New Netherland Institute in conjunction with the New York State Museum, State Archives, and Greater Capital Region Teacher Center, aims to give fourth and seventh grade teachers a thorough understanding in the history of New Netherland. Registration is free, but teachers must sign up through the Greater Capital Region Teacher Center. Maximum class size is 30 teachers.

New York's Updated Equity Plan

Updated Equity Plan to Ensure Equitable Access to the Most Effective Educators


The New York State Education Department submitted its updated equity plan to the U.S. Education Department by June 1, 2015, as required by the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA). New York State's Plan to Ensure Equitable Access to the Most Effective Educators, 2015 outlines strategies to support Local Education Agencies (LEAs) with activities that ensure every student has equitable access to the most effective educators. The plan applies lessons learned from the Department's $83 million Strengthening Teacher and Leader Effectiveness (STLE) competitive grant program intended to help applicants integrate evaluations into a coherent system of support for educators throughout their careers. The Department believes that strong preparation programs, meaningful teacher and principal evaluation systems, professional development, and career ladder pathways, implemented as part of a comprehensive talent management system, will ensure equitable access to effective educators and will address achievement gaps.


To learn more about the state's equity strategy, access the following materials on the recently updated plan:

36th Annual Conference on New York State History
New York State History conference

The Conference on New York State History is an annual meeting of academic and public historians, educators, librarians, archivists, publishers, and others to discuss topics related to the people of New York State in historical perspective. It is also an opportunity to share information and ideas regarding historical research, programming, and the networking of resources and services.


As in previous years, the 2015 conference will serve history teachers and educators by addressing topics such as the incorporation of local primary sources into the Common Core, a K-12 framework that offers a new paradigm for social studies instruction, teacher involvement in community-wide Underground Railroad historical activities, and an overview of New York State History Day. Education sessions are scheduled on Saturday, June 20 and teachers will be eligible for continuing education credits through Niagara University.


Find out more and register for the conference here.

News from the New York State Library
Ready to Read

Ready to Read at New York Libraries, an early literacy initiative of the New York State Library, is now on Facebook! This page is geared towards libraries, early childhood educators and professionals working with children, as well as parents, and will serve as a place to share important early literacy information and resources. The New York State Library invites you to "like" the page and to encourage others to do so as well.